Oregon Joins 39 Other States In Reaching $12 Million Settlement With Mattel And Subsidiary Fisher-Price Resolving Excessive Lead Paint Allegations.
Attorney General Hardy Myers today joined 39 Attorneys General in filing a Stipulated General Judgment with Mattel, Inc. and Fisher-Price, Inc., its subsidiary, resolving a 16-month long investigation into events that resulted in a voluntary recall of the company's toys for excessive lead paint during 2007. The judgment, filed in Marion County Circuit Court, limits the lead allowed in surface coatings on toys manufactured by Mattel or its subsidiary after November 30, 2008.
"No one should be allowed to sell toys that create health risks for children," Myers said. "Today's agreement holds Mattel to higher standards than current federal law."
Mattel recalled approximately two million toys manufactured in China between August 2, 2007 and October 25, 2007 after the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) alleged that the toys contained excessive lead. At the time of the recalls, federal law allowed 600 parts per million (ppm) of lead in accessible surface coatings on toys. The states' investigation revealed levels not only exceeded the federal standard, but in some instances tested over 10,000 ppm and 50,000 ppm.
The agreement includes more stringent standards for accessible lead both in surface coatings and substrates, effective for toys manufactured after November 30, 2008. A new federal law tightening federal standards will apply to toys manufactured in February, 2009 or later.
Mattel agreed with the Attorneys General to phase in more stringent standards ahead of the timelines provided by federal law. After a period of time, the standards in the federal law will equal those in today's judgment. Mattel also agreed to notify the Attorneys General if it confirms excessive lead in any of its products in violation of state or federal law, or the Stipulated Judgment, and to work with them to remedy such violations. Mattel will also make a payment of $12 million by January 30, 2009, to be divided among the participating states. The Oregon Department of Justice will receive approximately $220,000 for its Consumer Protection and Education Fund.
An Executive Committee consisting of Assistant Attorneys General in Arizona, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Vermont led the investigation. California also took part in negotiations, reaching a separate agreement under its Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act.
Consumers wanting more information about this case and consumer protection in Oregon may call the Attorney General's consumer hotline at (503) 378-4320 (Salem area only), (503) 229-5576 (Portland area only) or toll-free at 1-877-877-9392. DOJ is online at www.doj.state.or.us.
Specific information concerning children's products recalls may be viewed at http://www.doj.state.or.us/consumer/pages/child_safety.aspx.
Jan Margosian, (503) 947-4333 (media line only) firstname.lastname@example.org